Mark Aguirre is accused of running a man off the road and threatening him at gunpoint. The ex-cop was hired as a private investigator by a group whose CEO is GOP activist Steven Hotze (photo).
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HOUSTON — A former Houston police captain was arrested after allegedly running a man off the road and threatening him at gunpoint — what prosecutors say was part of an elaborate attempt to find evidence for a false conspiracy theory of widespread voter fraud in Harris County.
Mark Aguirre, who was working on behalf of a powerful Republican megadonor’s group to investigate unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in Harris County, was arrested Tuesday, according to the Harris County district attorney’s office.
Prosecutors say Aguirre’s claims were baseless and that he was paid $266,400 by Liberty Center for God and Country, whose CEO is prominent Texas right-wing activist Steven Hotze.
Hotze was among a group of Republicans who unsuccessfully sued to have nearly 127,000 Harris County ballots tossed out this year. Hotze was also among Republicans who tried — and failed — to stop Gov. Greg Abbott from extending early voting during the coronavirus pandemic, a suit for which Aguirre had provided an affidavit, stating that he was involved in an investigation into a “wide-ranging and fraudulent ballot harvesting scheme” in Harris County.
Jared Woodfill, a spokesperson and attorney for Hotze, confirmed that the Liberty Center hired a company led by Aguirre to investigate election fraud. The company contracted approximately 20 private investigators to work on claims of fraudulent ballots in Harris County and other places in Texas during the 2020 election. Woodfill said he was aware of Aguirre’s arrest but had not yet heard Aguirre’s side of the story.
“[Hotze] did not direct or lead any of the investigations,” Woodfill said, noting that Hotze instead sent tips and information to the team for the investigators to decide how to follow up. “The [Liberty Center] employed the investigation team that looked into the allegations.”
Aguirre told authorities he believed the air conditioner technician he threatened Oct. 19 — whom he had surveilled for four days with the help of at least two other unidentified people — was the mastermind of the supposed election fraud scheme and that fake ballots were being transported in the technician’s truck. He told police that he believed the technician had as many as 750,000 fake ballots in his possession, according to an affidavit by the Houston police officer who responded to the incident.
“There were no ballots in the truck,” according to a Harris County district attorney’s office press release. “It was filled with air conditioning parts and tools.”
Aguirre also told authorities that he and other unidentified suspects had set up a “command post” at a Marriott hotel in Pearland for days ahead of the incident. He refused to identify the other people he worked with, according to the Houston police report.
Aguirre ran his SUV into the back of the technician’s truck to get the man to stop and get out, according to a court document describing probable cause for the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He pointed a handgun at the technician and forced him to the ground, according to the affidavit.
“We are lucky no one was killed,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “His alleged investigation was backward from the start — first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”
Aguirre was arrested by Houston police Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Hotze is an active GOP donor and is one of the most prolific culture warriors on the right. He’s a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage and was a key figure in the unsuccessful push for the 2017 “bathroom bill” in the Texas Legislature. This summer, he infamously left a voicemail for Abbott’s chief of staff telling him to shoot and kill people protesting the in-custody death of George Floyd.
This article was originally published by The Texas Tribune.
Image of Steven Hotze via Facebook
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Republican Candidate in Secret Recording Says He Has Access to Russian Hit Squad and Would ‘End’ Opponent’s Life: Report
“I know what I’m doing is noble, and I’m just trying to remain a humble servant of God,” says William Braddock
In a Politico bombshell report William Braddock, a Florida Republican congressional candidate can be heard saying he has access to Russian and Ukrainian hit squads, “billions of dollars” in offshore cash, and would “end” the life of one of his Republican political opponents, a Trump-endorsed candidate named Anna Paulina Luna, “if it needs to be done.”
“I really don’t want to have to end anybody’s life for the good of the people of the United States of America,” Republican William Braddock can be heard saying in the clip (below). “That will break my heart. But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Luna is a f—ing speed bump in the road. She’s a dead squirrel you run over every day when you leave the neighborhood.”
Braddock on Monday filed to run for the seat of U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), who is not seeking re-election next year so he can run for governor. Luna (photo, top) is also running for that seat, and lost to Crist in 2020 but managed to get 47% of the vote.
“During a 30-minute call with a conservative activist that was recorded before he became a candidate, William Braddock repeatedly warned the activist to not support GOP candidate Anna Paulina Luna in the Republican primary for a Tampa Bay-area congressional seat because he had access to assassins,” Politico reports.
“In the recording, Braddock early in the call brought up the alleged assassins. He also made rambling statements about getting financial help from fellow Freemasons or by somehow importing millions of dollars from Malta and Gibraltar.”
“I have access to a hit squad, too, Ukrainians and Russians,” he said about three minutes into the call, adding “don’t get caught out in public supporting Luna. … Luna’s gonna go down and I hope it’s by herself.”
“She’s gonna be gone. Period. That’s the end of the discussion,” Braddock can be heard saying.
Asked how that will happen, he replies: “I call up my Russian — Ukrainian hit squad, and within 24 hours, they’re sending me pictures of her disappearing.”
“No, I’m not joking,” he adds. “Like, this is beyond my control this point.”
“Russian mafia. Close-battle combat, TEC-9s, MAC-10s, silencers kind of thing. No snipers. Up close and personal. So they know the person – they know that the target has gone.”
He goes on to say, “I know what I’m doing is noble, and I’m just trying to remain a humble servant of God.”
The recording was made “just after midnight last Wednesday,” Politico says, and the activist who made it “promptly turned it over to St. Petersburg, Fla., police and gave a heads-up to her friend Luna, who filed a petition for an injunction against Braddock.”
Below is the audio published by Politico. The activist who recorded it says it was not altered. Braddock told Politico “there is no proof” it is his voice in the recording and called it “a dirty political tactic that has caused a lot of people a lot of stress and is completely unnecessary.”
(The captions on the audio appear to be auto-generated and are a poor representation of what is clearly audible, including graphic, offensive, and vile language.)
‘Putin’s Favorite Congressman’ Marched on the Capitol in ‘Protest’ – but Says He Didn’t Want ‘To Make a Scene’
A California lawmaker, often referred to as “Putin’s favorite congressman” due to his presumed loyalty to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has admitted that he did attend the “Save America Rally” prior to the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, although he claims he advised the angry mob not to storm the Capitol building.
During an interview on Monday, June 14, former Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) confirmed he was in attendance at the rally after social media users spotted him in photos from the event.
“I marched to protest, and I thought the election was fraudulent and it should be investigated, and I wanted to express that and be supportive of that demand,” Rohrabacher told the Press Herald. “But I was not there to make a scene and do things that were unacceptable for anyone to do.”
While he did acknowledge that he attended the rally and supported former President Donald Trump’s fight to overturn the election, he went on to explain why he opposed the idea of storming the Capitol.
“By going into the building, they gave the Left the ability to direct the discussion of what was going on in a way that was harmful to the things we believe in,” Rohrabacher said, as he went on to blame “Leftist provocateurs” for allegedly encouraging the angry mob to breach the federal building.
#SeditionHunters – Thursday’s arrest of Alan Hostetter highlighted extremism in Orange County, CA, but even he is junior-league. We knew OC would send their finest, and here he is, the highest-profile #SeditionVIP yet: former U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA 42). 1/ pic.twitter.com/yJDdR5aR4T
— capitolhunters (@capitolhunters) June 12, 2021
Rohrabacher’s interview follows his lost bid for re-election. After losing the election, Rohrabacher decided to relocate to another state. He explained why he chose Maine as his destination.
“I was looking for a nice place to live, and Maine’s about the nicest place in the world,” he said. “I will tell you nothing comes anywhere close to Maine.”
“That guy up in New York, (former Mayor Michael) Bloomberg, spent $4.5 million in the last week of the 2018 campaign to defeat me, but I don’t feel bad about it,” he added. “They did me a big favor.”
Watch: Anti-Vaxxer Tells Lawmakers COVID Vaccine Makes People Magnetic and Lets Them Hang Spoons From Their Bodies
Ohio lawmakers debating a bill Tuesday that would allow anyone to refuse any vaccine for any reason and would give them the “right” to not be “discriminated” against or even asked about their vaccination status, heard from Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, recognized as one of the world’s top spreaders of vaccine disinformation.
After falsely claiming that 5000 Americans have died from the coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Tenpenny told lawmakers that the injections, which have saved countless lives around the world, make people magnetic.
“Right now we’re all kind of hypothesizing,” a fast-talking Tenpenny said, after being asked about the “EMF frequencies,” also known as electromagnetic frequencies, she “hypothesizes” are associated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I mean what is it that’s actually being transmitted that’s causing all of these things? Is it a combination of the protein which now we’re finding has a metal attached to it?” Tenpenny posited to lawmakers.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who’ve had these shots and now they’re magnetized, and put a key on their forehead, it sticks, they can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick because now we think that there’s a metal piece to that,” she claimed, not saying who “we” refers to. There is exactly zero proof this is legitimate.
She also pushed the false claim that vaccinated people are shedding unknown properties onto unvaccinated people.
“There has been people who’ve long suspected that there was some sort of an interface,” she continued, using air quotes, “yet to be defined in the interface between what’s being injected in these shots, and all of the 5G towers. Not proven yet, but we’re trying to figure out what is it that’s being transmitted to these unvaccinated people.”
The name of the Ohio bill, HB 248, is the “Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination Act,” to protect science-denying unvaccinated Ohioans from discrimination.
As far as Dr. Tenpenny goes, the Center for Public Integrity reports “Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, who offers a $595, eight-week course in anti-vaccine talking points despite a federal judge having found her ‘unqualified’ to weigh in as an expert witness on a vaccine-related lawsuit (‘Television interviews do not an expert make,’ he wrote).”
Ohio Capital Journal reporterTyler Buchanan posted the video, below. His colleague at the Journal, Jake Zuckerman, who he says has “followed the anti-vax movement in Ohio closer than anyone over the past year,” posted this today:
Handed to me outside the statehouse today pic.twitter.com/XqTyVJvunz
— Jake Zuckerman (@jake_zuckerman) June 8, 2021
Watch the video:
Testimony going off the rails now.
Tenpenny is claiming there is metal in the vaccine that causes forks to stick to your forehead. She saw videos of it on the internet, you see
Also promoting the 5G cell phone network vaccine theory. This is the anti-vaccine “expert witness” pic.twitter.com/sPpuAqmHba
— Tyler Buchanan (@Tylerjoelb) June 8, 2021
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